Personal Injury Claim Process in Missouri
Sept. 26, 2023
When you have been injured in an accident, there are various things that are going through your mind all at once. One of the most important things you find yourself thinking about — aside from your physical recovery — is whether you have grounds to pursue compensation from the responsible party and how to go about getting it. Understanding the personal injury claim process can put you in a better position to know what to expect and get the ball rolling.
If you have suffered an injury and are in need of assistance as you look to file a personal injury claim, working with an experienced personal injury attorney is a wise choice.
Attorney Raphael Morris has been providing people with skilled legal guidance for over two decades. If you’re in the greater St. Louis, Missouri area, St. Charles, or anywhere throughout Jefferson County or St. Charles County, contact The Morris Firm today to schedule a consultation and learn how they can help.
Personal Injury Claims in Missouri
Though there are often similarities with how such cases are handled in other states, it is important to be familiar with the process for personal injury claims in your home state. Here in the state of Missouri, two major factors you need to understand are Missouri’s status as an “at-fault” state and the comparative fault system the state uses when awarding compensation.
Missouri Is an At-Fault State
As an “at-fault” state, Missouri holds the negligent or responsible parties financially liable for any personal injury or property damage that occurs in an accident.
Pure Comparative Negligence in Missouri
Under a “comparative negligence” system, multiple parties in an accident can be assigned different shares of the fault for an accident. Whereas one party may be determined to have been 75% at fault for the accident, the other party could potentially be found to have been 25% responsible.
In such a case, if the injured party was 25% at fault, the amount of potential compensation awarded to them will be reduced by their percentage of fault (in this case, 25%). For example, if a total of $100,000 in compensation is awarded, the injured party will only be eligible to receive $75,000 of that amount.
The Claims Process
Once you and all other parties involved in an accident have been treated for any injuries and you have properly notified law enforcement or insurance providers for the involved parties, your next action should be hiring an experienced personal injury attorney to help you with your claim.
Filing a Claim
After your attorney has reviewed your case and gathered all available evidence to investigate, the initial step in the filing process is to submit a demand letter that outlines your accident, your injuries, the damages you have incurred, and the amount of compensation you require. You have the option of filing a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance or filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party in civil court.
It should be noted that while many personal injury cases are settled out of court, there is a potential that your case will eventually go to trial.
While negligence can be challenging to prove, there are basic aspects that must be shown in order to do so, including:
The at-fault party owed you a duty of care;
The at-fault party breached this duty due to their negligence;
This breach of duty caused the accident; and
The accident directly resulted in your injuries.
If the factors listed above can be proven, you have a strong case to argue the other party owes you compensation.
Reviewing a Settlement Offer
As mentioned above, many injury cases are settled before trial. If the other party’s insurance provider or legal representation makes a settlement offer, it’s important for you to trust your attorney to help you make informed decisions and negotiate on your behalf.
Statute of Limitations in Missouri
Under Missouri law, an injured party has a five-year window from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. Failing to do so within the prescribed period of time (statute of limitations) will generally result in forfeiting your opportunity to seek compensation.
Each injury case is different, which is why there are no guarantees regarding settlement amounts or compensation awarded by the court. The most important thing to know is that working with an attorney gives you the best opportunity to achieve the result you need. A successful claim can result in fair financial compensation that will help you with lingering medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.
Here to Help You Seek the Result You Deserve
Suffering a physical injury can leave you with multiple situations to be concerned about, such as your physical health, your financial circumstances, missing work, and more. If your injury was caused by the actions or negligence of another party, you have the right to pursue financial compensation that can be used to cover your medical costs, make up for lost wages if you are not able to work, and pay for repairs for property damage. If this process is an option for you, working with a dedicated personal injury attorney should be your first step.
At The Morris Firm, you can count on the same knowledgeable guidance and compassionate counsel that many others have received for years. Attorney Raphael Morris is ready to hear the details of your unique story, assess the value of your case, and keep you well-informed throughout each step of the legal process. If you are looking for legal representation or help with the personal injury claim process in St. Louis, Missouri, or anywhere in the counties of Jefferson or St. Charles, reach out today to schedule a consultation.